Canceling the Saints

Protestors are demanding that the city of St Louis MO remove the statue of its namesake, King St Louis IX of France, because he burnt Talumuds on the orders of the Pope and went on Crusade, but local Catholics have been blocking them. The burning of Talmuds was a regrettable overreaction to a moral panic but the Crusades were, in contemporary jargon, a failed effort to liberate the indigenous Christian populations of the Eastern Mediterranean from Arab and Turkish colonialism. He was a man of extraordinary integrity living in a violent age.

There is no such thing as a woke Catholic saint. If you went back in time and tried to explain Critical Race Theory they would say “no thanks, I have a religion already”. If you tried to explain contemporary gender ideology they would be horrified.

None of them were egalitarians, they all believed in authority, whether limited authorities like those of husbands over wives, priests over people, and governments over subjects, or the absolute authority of God over his creatures. A great many Catholic saints were slaves, but others owned slaves: Perpetua and Felicity, a young noblewoman and her slave martyred for their faith in Carthage and commemorated in the Roman Canon, come to mind. The Church has always been ambivalent about slavery: a material evil to be limited, yes, but not always a moral evil in this sad world.

When the protestors came for Christopher Columbus a lot of Catholics shrugged and said it wasn’t a big deal, Columbus did a lot of cruel things. But the protestors don’t hate cruelty, many of them are cruel themselves. They hate Columbus for being a Western colonialist, and one of the chief creators of American, especially Latin American, civilization. I knew back then that Junipiero Serra was next, since while he may not have been cruel he was a missionary, and as such he was (to the protestors) a cultural imperialist, like every good Catholic who hopes for the conversion of all people.

Priests, bishops, or even the Pope himself can parrot BLM talking points but it will always be a ruse. A woke Catholic Church would have to completely overhaul its teaching on sin: replace original sin and personal sin (a wilful choice) with unconscious sin (prejudice + power); rewrite the life and role of Christ and redemption, and jettison its own sacraments, history and what remains of its moral authority in favor of Critical Race Theory. The Catholic Church is quite good at self-mutilation, but becoming woke would be self-annihilation.

If God allows the progress of Critical Race Theory radicals through the halls of civil power, the Church will be persecuted. I don’t know if that will happen but I hope it doesn’t.

Edit: the original post said he burnt Torahs on papal orders which is of course wrong.


  1. I agree there has to be a cut off point. Columbus is already far enough back that there’s enough distance for people to understand context. In historical terms the American civil war is “recent”, but come on, St. Louis?

  2. Billy Jack · · Reply

    The young black men to whom a relative of mine ministers are subjected to a lot of propaganda about how Christianity is a religion of white colonialism (sometimes Islam is presented as an anti-imperialist religion of black/African liberation in this propaganda as well), so he has learned quite a bit of the history of Christianity in Africa. He got a huge kick out of your–accurate–interpretation of Louis XVI’s crusades in North Africa.

    But maybe we’re thinking of the wrong crusades of Louis XVI. Maybe these woke-zealot rioters feel a visceral hatred for Louis XVI because they are basically modern-day Cathars.

    In seriousness, you are right. They hate any figure who can be seen as a founder of civilization as it exists in North America or Europe. I can’t tell to what extent this is mental illness and to what extent it is a psyop: Alinsky used to say that you don’t need very many people on your side to take over a city or country, you just need most of the people to believe that the place is so completely rotten that they won’t rise to defend its government, institutions, or customs. This “demoralization” was part of Soviet propaganda, too. My guess is that clever leftists like Howard Zinn chose symbolic targets like Columbus strategically when they decided who to libel, but lots of later people apparently just get off on believing that their civilization is rotten to the core, so the thing just sort of propagates itself without any Comintern-like entity having to do anything. I’d be lying if I told you that I understood that psychological phenomenon but it is very real. Daddy issues? I honestly have no idea.

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